Choosing the Best Natural Lip Color (in 3 Easy Steps)

Want to move beyond daring red lips but tired of pink?

Nude lipstick offers the perfect relief. Simple yet sexy, neutral, or nude lips can add polish to your everyday makeup look.

Plus, nude lips draw more attention to the eyes. By adding a splash of natural color to your lips, you can give yourself permission to use dramatic eyeshadow and liner – choosing bolder colors – without looking overdone. Smokey eyes, anyone?

There’s just one problem.

Finding the Best Natural Lip Color… Well, It’s Easier Said than Done

Nowadays, it’s more possible than ever to look devastatingly beautiful in neutral lipstick. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Jessica Szohr or Adriana Lima. Both olive beauties have mastered the understated minimalist look – and still, look fabulous!

Choosing the Best Natural Lip Color (in 3 Easy Steps)

But finding the best natural lip color in that just-right shade can be tricky – sometimes even more so than foundation!

  • Apply too much color and you’ve gone beyond natural. But don’t add enough color and you’re left with a deathly pale smile reminiscent of a corpse (but hey, at least your makeup is all set for Halloween!).
  • The pigment on your lips isn’t always a uniform color. In fact, it’s more common to have darker pigment on the outer lips! This can make it especially tough to choose between lipstick tubes.
  • Not all women look flattering in common neutral hues. If you have a lot of natural lip pigment (and some olive women do), you may find your choices limited.

The good news? You don’t have to combine two (or more!) lipsticks together to get the perfect nude.

Plus, I’ll give you some tips on how to choose the best neutral lipstick for olive skin tones.

So you can find the best natural lip color – a gorgeous nude lipstick or gloss that will light up your eyes and look irresistible against your beautiful olive skin tone.

Get ready to pucker up!

Choosing the Best Natural Lip Color for Your Complexion – No More Mixing Lipstick

Finding a flattering nude shade is an art in itself. You want to give your lips a hint of color without looking washed out or veering too far from your original pigment.

How? We can do this in three simple steps.

  1. Examine your lips without makeup. Notice the pigment there. The best natural lip color should enhance the undertones on your lips. Choose a nude lipstick that’s close in color to your natural pigment – whether that’s a warm pink, rosy brown, or somewhere in between.
  2. Think about the texture. Lipsticks come in many different finishes – some better than others (for our purposes anyway). Instead of matte, opt for moisturizing sheer or creamy formulas with a soft sheen. Both sheer and creamy textures provide a natural finish without drying out your lips.
  3. Narrow down your options. Aim for a nude lipstick that combines the color of your lip pigment (step 1) with hints of peach, honey, or even gold. Not only does peach complement the natural green undertones that an olive skine has, but it can neutralize dark or uneven lip pigment (source).

Most olive beauties settle for a peach-toned nude lipstick in shades of rose or brown to complement their natural pigment – but there can be exceptions!

Choosing the Best Natural Lip Color for Your Complexion - No More Mixing Lipstick

If you have very pigmented lips, finding the best natural lip color may take experimenting.

Don’t be afraid to choose sultry hues a shade lighter than the natural pigment on your lips – but never one that’s lighter than your complexion. Warm undertones in peach-toned lipsticks should also help soften those darker areas.

So, with that said, What Nude Lip Colors Should You Avoid?

“For every super-flattering nude lipstick, there are dozens that look like sidewalk chalk.” – Elizabeth Siegel

The wrong shade of nude lipstick can look less than attractive. Avoid these common mistakes.

  • Never choose a nude color that’s lighter than your complexion – unless, of course, you’re prepping for a horror film production. Light hues can make beautiful lips look sickly and pale.
  • Stay away from cooler neutrals (with too much pink). While olive skin does have neutral undertones, mauve-toned nudes and cool hues may contrast too much against your skin – and not look the least bit subtle or natural.
  • Be careful with beige or grey undertones. Some beige neutral colors can wash out your olive complexion – or even look like you’ve dipped your lips into too much concealer.
  • Avoid neutral shades with a high matte finish. While the best natural lip color should provide a low sheen, some matte nude lipsticks can make lips appear chalky and dry. If you do decide on a matte finish, you may have to coat your lips with something like this to smooth out the dry areas.
  • Skip bold neutral hues. Nude lips should have subtle hints of color. Otherwise, it doesn’t look natural.

Make sense? Great. But how can you make doubly sure you’ve picked the right nude shade? Well, I have a little trick for you.

Instead of trying this new shade on your lips in the store (which may be a little too late if you’ve already fallen in love with it), test out the color on your eyes!

How to Test Nude Lip Colors on Your Eyes

The best way to make sure a nude lipstick will look good on your lips is to try it out on the eyes.

You’ll be able to get a better sense of how neutral shades will pair with your natural lip color. They may look too pale or muted once they hit your lips, after all!

Choosing the Best Natural Lip Color (in 3 Easy Steps)

The same can hold true for deeper lip colors. If a lipstick shade is too red, berry, or brown to complement your natural lip color or undertone, it will also look off on the eyes.

Just swipe an eyeliner across your upper lash line and smudge it out with your finger for a soft smoky effect.

The Final Test: Looks Can Be Deceiving

It goes without saying that sometimes what appears to be the best natural lip color can actually look all kinds of wrong once applied to your lips.

If you struggle to decide on the right choice for you, then you can prevent problems by doing the wrist test and testing the lipstick shade before leaving the shop.

Do this by swiping any available testers on the underside of your wrist – right below the palm. The nude lipstick color should be a couple of shades darker than the skin there.

The lipstick should also have a warm undertone – something that matches your skin tone. In this case, you’re testing for an undertone of red, yellow, or pink.

If the nude lipstick shade is way too light on your wrist – or if it feels too cool against your skin – then it will most likely look wrong on your lips.

And you don’t want to end up with the wrong shade of nude lipstick!

What’s Your Favorite Neutral Shade?

Nude lips are a great way to start off the summer. But don’t underestimate their power during the colder months!

Combined with double-winged eyeliner or dramatic smokey eyes, it’s possible to turn more than a couple of heads. And with this lip liner pencil at hand, you can finish off your natural look with lip definition and shape.

You can line, fill in and even color your lips with this waterproof beauty.

Final Thoughts

While I’d hardly call myself a lip connoisseur, the tips and tricks should help you make an educated decision on what to buy ahead of time.

Having great-looking lips will really benefit your confidence as well as your image if people catch a glimpse! In my opinion, it is worth doing some research to find out how to get the best natural lip color so you don’t have to worry about making a mistake in-store.